The EAT has recently held that cutting off email access to an employee who was off work for reasons of ill health was a provision, criterion or practice that put the Claimant at a substantial disadvantage and as a result he was entitled to an injury to feelings award. In this case, the result of the cutting off of access to emails during the period of sick leave meant that the Claimant’s joining of the company share purchase plan was delayed.
This case should serve as a reminder that employers should not forget about their absent employees or treat them any differently. It may well be in certain circumstances that it is in the employee’s best interests to have email access removed for a period of time but this should be done with the employee’s consent and based upon medical recommendation. In all cases employers should regularly correspond and communicate with their employees who are taking a period of sick leave.
Contact the experts at Premier Legal for advice on how to deal with sickness absence on 0115 9886211.